cover image Sleepover at Gramma’s House

Sleepover at Gramma’s House

Barbara Joosse. Philomel, 17.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-399-25261-7

Jutte’s illustrations, jauntily drawn and heavily inked, provide much of the pleasure in this celebration of a joyous overnight at Gramma’s. Gramma, a wrinkled elephant, is an artist, and Jutte (who last plumbed the mythos of bedtime with Joosse in Roawr!) fills her rural cabin with an abundance of artwork, mismatched furniture, and offbeat paraphernalia. Joosse narrates the granddaughter’s arrival in first-person, stream-of-consciousness chatter: “I’m flipping off my shoesies and I’m rolling down my socksies and I’m sighing and I’m singing and I’m... THERE!” Gramma is the source of one captivating idea after another; they run through paper taped over a door, throw an impromptu party, splatter each other with paint, and even switch roles, with the girl inventing two uproariously pitch-perfect bedtime stories (“Once upon a time there was a cake that nobody ate. And then they did. The End”). To be allowed to look in on this idyllic relationship (“Oh. We love each other so,” is the granddaughter’s recurring chorus) and imagine oneself as part of it is this quirky story’s gift to readers. Ages 3–5. (May)